CodeIgniter provides a very simple, but flexible pagination library that is simple to theme, works with the model, and capable of supporting multiple paginators on a single page.

Loading the Library

Like all services in CodeIgniter, it can be loaded via Config\Services, though you usually will not need to load it manually:

$pager = \Config\Services::pager();

Paginating Database Results

In most cases, you will be using the Pager library in order to paginate results that you retrieve from the database. When using the Model class, you can use its built-in paginate() method to automatically retrieve the current batch of results, as well as set up the Pager library so it’s ready to use in your controllers. It even reads the current page it should display from the current URL via a page=X query variable.

To provide a paginated list of users in your application, your controller’s method would look something like:


namespace App\Controllers;

use CodeIgniter\Controller;

class UserController extends Controller
    public function index()
        $model = new \App\Models\UserModel();

        $data = [
            'users' => $model->paginate(10),
            'pager' => $model->pager,

        echo view('users/index', $data);

In this example, we first create a new instance of our UserModel. Then we populate the data to send to the view. The first element is the results from the database, users, which is retrieved for the correct page, returning 10 users per page. The second item that must be sent to the view is the Pager instance itself. As a convenience, the Model will hold on to the instance it used and store it in the public property, $pager. So, we grab that and assign it to the $pager variable in the view.


It is important to understand that the Model::paginate() method uses the Model and QueryBuilder methods. Therefore, trying to use $db->query() and Model::paginate() will not work because $db->query() executes the query immediately and is not associated with a QueryBuilder.

To define conditions for pagination in a model, you can:

// You can specify conditions directly.
$model = new \App\Models\UserModel();

$data = [
    'users' => $model->where('ban', 1)->paginate(10),
    'pager' => $model->pager,

// You can move the conditions to a separate method.
// Model method
public function banned()
    $this->builder()->where('ban', 1);
    return $this; // This will allow the call chain to be used.

$data = [
    'users' => $model->banned()->paginate(10),
    'pager' => $model->pager,

Within the view, we then need to tell it where to display the resulting links:

<?= $pager->links() ?>

And that’s all it takes. The Pager class will render First and Last page links, as well as Next and Previous links for any pages more than two pages on either side of the current page.

It is important to be aware that the library pattern for Next and Previous is different from what is used in the traditional way of paging results.

Next and Previous here is linked to the group of links to be displayed in the pagination structure, and not to the next or previous page of records.

If you prefer a simpler output, you can use the simpleLinks() method, which only uses “Older” and “Newer” links, instead of the details pagination links:

<?= $pager->simpleLinks() ?>

Behind the scenes, the library loads a view file that determines how the links are formatted, making it simple to modify to your needs. See below for details on how to completely customize the output.

Paginating Multiple Results

If you need to provide links from two different result sets, you can pass group names to most of the pagination methods to keep the data separate:

// In the Controller
public function index()
    $userModel = new \App\Models\UserModel();
    $pageModel = new \App\Models\PageModel();

    $data = [
        'users' => $userModel->paginate(10, 'group1'),
        'pages' => $pageModel->paginate(15, 'group2'),
        'pager' => $userModel->pager,

    echo view('users/index', $data);

// In the views:
<?= $pager->links('group1') ?>
<?= $pager->simpleLinks('group2') ?>

Setting Page Manually

If you need to specify which page of results to return you can specify the page as the 3rd argument. This can be handy when you have a different manner than the default $_GET varibable to control which page to show.

$userModel = new \App\Models\UserModel();
$page = 3;

$users = $userModel->paginate(10, 'group1', $page);

Specifying the URI Segment for Page

It is also possible to use a URI segment for the page number, instead of the page query parameter. Simply specify the segment number to use as the fourth argument. URIs generated by the pager would then look like https://domain.tld/foo/bar/[pageNumber] instead of https://domain.tld/foo/bar?page=[pageNumber].

$users = $userModel->paginate(10, 'group1', null, $segment);

Please note: $segment value cannot be greater than the number of URI segments plus 1.

Manual Pagination

You may find times where you just need to create pagination based on known data. You can create links manually with the makeLinks() method, which takes the current page, the number of results per page, and the total number of items as the first, second, and third parameters, respectively:

<?= $pager->makeLinks($page, $perPage, $total) ?>

This will, by default, display the links in the normal manner, as a series of links, but you can change the display template used by passing in the name of the template as the fourth parameter. More details can be found in the following sections.

<?= $pager->makeLinks($page, $perPage, $total, 'template_name') ?>

It is also possible to use a URI segment for the page number, instead of the page query parameter, as described in the previous section. Specify the segment number to use as the fifth parameter to makeLinks().

<?= $pager->makeLinks($page, $perPage, $total, 'template_name', $segment) ?>

Please note: $segment value cannot be greater than the number of URI segments plus 1.

If you in need to show many pagers on one page then additional parameter which will define a group could be helpful:

$pager = service('pager');
$pager->setPath('path/for/my-group', 'my-group'); // Additionally you could define path for every group.
$pager->makeLinks($page, $perPage, $total, 'template_name', $segment, 'my-group');

Pagination library uses page query parameter for HTTP queries by default (if no group or default group name given) or page_[groupName] for custom group names.

Paginating with Only Expected Queries

By default, all GET queries are shown in the pagination links.

For example, when accessing the URL https://domain.tld?search=foo&order=asc&hello=i+am+here&page=2, the page 3 link can be generated, along with the other links, as follows:

echo $pager->links();
// Page 3 link: https://domain.tld?search=foo&order=asc&hello=i+am+here&page=3

The only() method allows you to limit this just to queries already expected:

echo $pager->only(['search', 'order'])->links();
// Page 3 link: https://domain.tld?search=foo&order=asc&page=3

The page query is enabled by default. And only() acts in all pagination links.